Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{2013 TBR Pile Challenge - Review} 11/22/63 by Stephen King

ISBN #: 978-1451627282
Page Count: 849
Copyright: November 8, 2011
Publisher: Scribner

Book Summary:
(Taken from dustjacket flap)

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away - a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer.

Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life - like Harry's, like America's in 1963 - turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession - to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there's Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore.

Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Mandy's Review:

Oh my God - THIS is why I love Stephen King's work. When people say that he is a master storyteller, they are not wrong. This man's mind is overwhelmingly amaze-balls! I know many of you do not like Stephen King because when you hear his name you automatically think of horror. 11/22/63 is the perfect exemplification of King's genius in a non-horror setting.

Generally speaking, all the events that happen are every day, normal events. King has a knack for taking the every day situations and using them in an overall stunning way. He tweaks each situation, each event, just enough to make it still seem believable. I think that's what I love about King's writing; that he can do that yet make the overall story have an otherworldly or supernatural essence.

I also loved that he incorporated Derry, Maine into this story. It excited me to no end to see Bevvie and Richie again, although I did miss seeing the rest of the gang. For those who don't know what I'm referring to, Bevvie and Richie were two of the seven friends in King's book It. I felt like I was visiting friends again. It was bittersweet.

If you're curious about King's writing, but don't want to be scared half out of your gourd, then please read 11/22/63. I promise you I wouldn't steer you wrong.

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